Over the years prudent investors have learned to be cautious especially when something appears too good to be true. Bernard Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme with billions of dollars of investors’ money for many years. He is now serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison. Whistleblowers shouted warnings but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) failed to heed the dire warnings in any significant way. As the Office of the Inspector General’s report reads,

Certainly there were failures at the SEC. These are now well known because the SEC has an Inspector General (IG) who has true oversight and independence. The IG office, which also has oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, helps to maintain integrity and assure transparency of government operations.